This intransigence is nothing new. Iran has a long history of harrassing and intimidating inspectors and barring access to nuclear sites. The response of the West has been a mere slap on the wrist as it continues to legitimize, embolden and enrich the regime.
STOP IRAN NOW
September 18, 2023
BERLIN (AP) — The U.N. nuclear watchdog harshly criticized Iran on Saturday for effectively barring several of its most experienced inspectors from monitoring the country’s disputed atomic program.
The strongly worded statement came amid longstanding tensions between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is tasked with monitoring a Iran's nuclear program. After lying and deceiving for years, Iran has acknowledged that the program has been established to produce nuclear bombs.
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the IAEA, said Iran had withdrawn the designation of “several experienced Agency inspectors,” barring them from taking part in the monitoring of its program.
“Iran has effectively removed about one-third of the core group of the agency’s most experienced inspectors designated for Iran,” he said.
Grossi went on to “strongly condemn this disproportionate and unprecedented unilateral measure,” saying it “constitutes an unnecessary blow to an already strained relationship between the IAEA and Iran.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry linked the move to what it said was an attempt by the United States and three European countries to misuse the IAEA “for their own political purposes.”
The U.S., Britain, France and Germany criticized Iran in a joint statement at an IAEA board meeting in Vienna this week, calling on Tehran to step up cooperation with the agency.
Iran's intransigence is nothing new. The regime has a history of harassing and intimidating inspectors and barring access to nuclear sites. Once again the response of the West has been a mere slap on the wrist as it continues to legitimize, embolden and enrich the regime.
In November of 2019 the United States State Department slammed Iran for blocking a nuclear inspector from accessing contested sites saying Iran committed 'outrageous and unwarranted act of intimidation'.
A September 2021 confidential IAEA report indicated that Iran was blocking United Nations atomic agency inspectors’ access to nuclear-related sites and continues to expand its nuclear activities.
In 2021 Iranian security guards physically harassed several female United Nations atomic agency inspectors at a nuclear facility. Incidents at Iran’s main nuclear facility, Natanz, allegedly included inappropriate touching of female inspectors by male security guards and orders to remove some clothing. One of the diplomats said there had been at least four separate incidents of harassment. A second diplomat said there had been five to seven.
A Nov. 17, 2021 report from the IAEA noted that inspectors tried to access the Karaj centrifuge component production facility once in September and twice in October to install new surveillance cameras. Each time, Iran prohibited inspectors from entering the facility.
A September 12, 2021 National Security Brief from JINSA explains how Iran has continuously blocked nuclear inspectors and entered into a last minute deal with international inspectors that did not require it to stop obstructing legally-binding measures on its nuclear program. The authors explain:
the one-sided agreement which was intended to pave the way for a resumption of talks in reentering the JCPOA nuclear deal threatens to undermine the broader nonproliferation regime and leave the outside world in the dark about Iran's nuclear progress as its breakout window to a bomb becomes dangerously small." Iran Continues Blocking Nuclear Inspectors.
In June of 2022 Iran began removing 27 cameras monitoring its nuclear activity, a move that could prevent international inspectors from gaining a clear picture of Tehran’s uranium enrichment work. A year later there were vague reports that Iran agreed to reinstall the equipment, which is vital for the watchdog’s ability to monitor Iran. Last week, the UN nuclear watchdog said in confidential reports seen by AFP that Iran had made “no progress” on several outstanding nuclear issues, including installing more cameras to monitor their nuclear program.
World powers struck a deal with Tehran in 2015 under which it agreed to limit enrichment of uranium to levels necessary for nuclear power in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. U.N. inspectors were tasked with monitoring the program. While the Obama/Biden Administration touted "anywhere - anytime inspections" the reality has been quite the contrary. One critical provision put unexpected limitations on inspectors’ access to certain facilities by requiring them to notify Iran first if they suspect a site might be being used for illicit nuclear activity and then undergoing a long process in order to gain entry to that site.